<h2>FOCUS ON TIAN WEI<br>3 - 26 September 2020<h2><h2>FOCUS ON TIAN WEI<br>3 - 26 September 2020<h2><h2>ALEXIS PESKINE: FIRE FIGURES
<br>2 October – 14 November 2020
</h2><h2>BENJI REID: LAUGH AT GRAVITY<br>Coming Soon...</h2><h2>DREAM NO SMALL DREAM: The Story of October Gallery<br>Available to purchase from our Book Store, £40 +P&P</h2>304 pages, full colour plates throughout. Edited by Gerard Houghton
 

CURRENT EXHIBITION

3 - 26 September 2020
Tian Wei, Red (detail), 2011.
Acrylic on canvas, 298 x 177 cm.
Tian Wei, Gold, 2017.
Iridescent acrylic on canvas, 174 x 220 cm.
October Gallery will exhibit a selection of artworks by Tian Wei, renowned for his striking canvases in bold monochromatic colours that explore the written word and the plasticity of meaning.

Both formally and theoretically, Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as complementary pairs or polar opposites. Using the Chinese idea of contraries held in balance (yin and yang), words and quotations in minute script fill the backdrop of Tian’s paintings, forming a patterned ground over which larger semi-abstract shapes are drawn. On trying to read these foregrounded lines as Chinese characters, however, anyone familiar with Chinese ideographic script is quickly frustrated, since the unfamiliar writing can only be resolved in English. In fact, the cursive lines spell out simple English words, such as ‘soul,’ 'sexy’ and ‘red.’ These selected English nouns and adjectives free-handedly drawn in cursive Chinese style give the viewer insight into the artist’s lived experience of an emerging synergy between eastern and western sensibilities, both of which he masters with easy assurance.
 

FORTHCOMING EXHIBITION

2 October – 14 November 2020
Alexis Peskine, Kassu Demdemi, 2020.
Alexis Peskine, Zo, 2020. 100 x 100 cm.
October Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Alexis Peskine, entitled Fire Figures. This much anticipated show follows on from Power Figures, Peskine's highly successful debut show at October Gallery, in 2017.

Alexis Peskine’s signature works are large-scale mixed media ‘portraits’ of archetypes from the African diaspora, which are rendered by hammering nails of different gauge, with pin-point accuracy, into wood stained with natural materials such as coffee, mud and hibiscus extract. By applying gold leaf to the nails, he creates breath-taking composite images. Peskine depicts figures that portray strength and perseverance, charged with an energy reminiscent of the spiritually laden minkisi - ‘power figures’ - of the Congo Basin. His particular choice of the medium of nails resonates with sombre tones of the Black Experience, spanning the scale of qualities running from pain to transcendence.

Fire Figures recapitulates and expands upon the conceptual framework deployed in the previous Power Figures series. These striking new works explore the ongoing frustrations experienced by all those of the African Diaspora who continue to encounter endemic systems of racism and violence. All through his life, Peskine has ‘always felt the fire of injustice’ burning close by, a fire which fuels his work and spurs him on. However, he notes, the element of fire also represents an opportunity for cleansing and transformative change. Peskine's depicted subjects seem to see this change, right in front of them, palpably present, yet still unrealised.
 

 

NEWS, EVENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS


Benji Reid announced as cover artist for Trebuchet Eight
October Gallery is pleased to announce that Benji Reid has been chosen as the cover artist for Trebuchet, the articulate and stylish Art publication. Featuring an in-depth interview with Reid, the Eighth issue of the magazine explores the subject of Contemporary Surrealism.
Benji Reid, I had a dream, 2018.
October Gallery Podcast
Alexis Peskine in conversation with the curator, Dee Haughney.
In October Gallery's debut podcast, artist Alexis Peskine is interviewed by the curator, Dee Haughney. This interview was part of our first Instagram Live OG Late, which took place on 24th May, 2020. Listen in as Alexis explores his practice, talks about his most recent residencies and discusses his new body of works.
Alexis Peskine, Novas Linguagens Do Mundo, 2019. Nails, gold leaf, clay, annatto and coffee over wood, 200 x 200 cm.
Sokari Douglas Camp
'All the World is Now Richer'
Sokari Douglas Camp was recently interviewed by Jon Snow, on Channel 4 News, about her monumental work ‘All the World is Now Richer’, a memorial sculpture made to commemorate the abolition of slavery. This major piece consists of a line of life-sized figures representing the successive stages in the saga of slavery, while underlining the fact that people of slave heritage are brave, and possess both strength and dignity. Behind each individual figure extends a ‘shadow’ containing a phrase describing that specific stage, the whole building together to form one powerful statement. A permanent public placement is presently being sought for this timely and important piece.
Sokari Douglas Camp, All the World is Now Richer, 2012. Steel, 216 cm x 560 cm x 118 cm.
Dream No Small Dream:
The Story of October Gallery
Available to purchase from our online bookstore and Amazon
October Gallery celebrated 40 years of artistic endeavour with a labour of love - producing a 300-page book surveying the art, events, people and ideas that have driven the Gallery’s development since it first opened its doors, in 1979. Weaving together essays, archival material and a wealth of colour plates, Dream No Small Dream gives a fascinating overview of the interconnecting forces that transformed the Gallery from a start-up project in central London to an acknowledged player on the global stage of the contemporary art world.
Spaceship Earth
Released for streaming
Matt Wolf’s documentary 'Spaceship Earth', which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – charts the determination of a group of countercultural visionaries who used art and community to foster a connection with nature.

The film explores how, in 1984, the Institute of Ecotechnics helped initiate the Biosphere 2 project in Oracle, Arizona. October Gallery operates as one of a series of international projects developed by the Institute of Ecotechnics. More about Biosphere 2 can be read in 'Dream No Small Dream: The Story of October Gallery.'

The film has now been released for streaming at home.
El Anatsui, Opening of Time, 2019. Bottle caps and copper wire. Dimensions variable.
Benji Reid LAUGH AT GRAVITY:
ARTSY Preview
October Gallery presents an exclusive online preview of Benji Reid's upcoming and highly anticipated solo exhibition at the Gallery.
Benji Reid, Drunken Matters, 2019.
Concert:
Brazen Thieves Live at October Gallery
Saturday, 3rd October, 2020
Doors 17:30, 18:30 start
£10
October Gallery is pleased to announce a night of live music performed by Brazen Thieves. This event is part of a new series of socially-distanced gigs to support live music acts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Daughters of respected 60s folk guitarist Clive Woolf, Laura and Rebecca Woolf have explored every musical avenue, from playing in rock bands to DJing dance music, before dedicating themselves to folk music. As a result of discovering previously unheard recordings, the sisters are dedicating their musical endeavours to bringing the sounds of their father’s songs to a new audience. Laura and Rebecca Woolf, together with Lucy Gaster, formed Brazen Thieves.

 

VISTING OCTOBER GALLERY

Bloomsbury, London

October Gallery has been instrumental in bringing to worldwide attention many of the world’s leading international artists, including El Anatsui, Rachid Koraïchi, Romuald Hazoumè, Nnenna Okore, Laila Shawa and Kenji Yoshida. The Gallery promotes the Transvangarde, the very best in contemporary art from around the planet, as well as maintaining a cultural hub in central London for poets, writers, intellectuals and artists, and hosts talks, performances and seminars, see www.octobergallery.co.uk/events

The rich diversity of art presented is an inspiration to collectors and enthusiasts. Institutions such as the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; Setagagya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan have all collected works from October Gallery.

Founded in 1979, October Gallery is a charitable trust which is supported by sales of art, rental of the Gallery's unique facilities, grants from various funding bodies and the active support of dedicated artists, musicians, writers and many friends from around the world. The Gallery’s Education Department is inclusive of all ages from under 5’s to PGCE student and delivers a wide range of provision, see education website

October Gallery is open from 12:30 to 17:30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
The Gallery is closed during official holidays and the entire month of August.